What's new: Amazon's all-new Fire TV Cube rolls out some nice internal upgrades along with international distribution in an attempt to up their streaming game.
- This Cube is on Fire: All-New Fire TV Cube (opens in new tab) ($120 at Amazon)
- TV / Camera Combo: All-New Fire TV Cube with Ring Video Doorbell 2 (opens in new tab) ($250 at Amazon)
What's new with the updated Fire TV Cube?
At first glance, you may look at the All-New Fire TV Cube and think, ok, so what's different? Well, plenty has changed. The form factor may be about the same, but the internals have seen some pretty serious upgrades that you're sure to notice the next time you're streaming.
First of all, the updated device is launching on day one in Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and of course, the U.S. All too often Fire, Echo, and Alexa products take time to roll out to countries outside the U.S. This alone is a great sign that Amazon is serious about its streaming business.
Compared to last year's device, the All-New Fire TV Cube features an advanced Hexa-core processor, Dolby Vision, HDR 10+, and something called Local Voice Control. Local Voice Control is a convenient feature that utilizes the device's improved processing power to handle an increasing number of requests on-device, rather than in the cloud. This allows Alexa to execute frequently used voice commands to navigate through the Fire TV interface more quickly than ever before. For example, you can ask things like "Alexa, scroll right" or "Alexa, select number one," and it will happen instantaneously. Unfortunately, this feature is only available in English at launch, but they expect to roll out other languages soon.
Amazon is also offering a nice bundle and an incentive package at launch to sweeten the pot. It includes a Fire TV Cube and Ring Video Doorbell 2 combo, as well as a 90-day extended free trial of Amazon Music Unlimited to customers who pre-order the device.
Quick list of the specs
Sometimes it's just easier to see these specs in a chart form, so here you go!
|All-New Fire TV Cube||Fire TV Cube (2018)|
|Picture Quality||4K UHD, HDR 10+||4K UHD, HDR 10|
|Local Voice Control||Yes||No|
|Smart Home Controls||Yes||Yes|
|Pair Multiple for Stereo Sound||Yes||Yes|
|Storage||16 GB||16 GB|
|RAM||2 GB||2 GB|
What stayed the same?
While the aforementioned updates are essential to an upgraded viewing experience, it's worth noting that Amazon kept several key features similar between this version and the previous generation. The first thing you'll notice is that the physical look and feel of the new device is pretty much the same as the old one. It also comes with the same connectors and adaptors, as well as the Alexa Voice Remote.
Both devices share the ability to play 4K, Ultra High Definition video at 60 frames per second, and both can project Dolby Atmos sound. Both Cubes have beamforming microphone technology and far-field voice recognition so that Alexa can better hear and process your requests. Both can be paired with other Echo devices as part of a multi-room music group.
If you are a super-duper videophile or audiophile, then you'll notice the improvements in the All-New Fire TV Cube and appreciate the upgrades. But if you're an average Jane, you may not. Regardless, the improved speed and on-device processing are sure to impress anyone who is considering upgrading their smart TV setup.
New streaming assistant
The All-New Fire TV Cube features some pretty significant internal enhancements to make your streaming experience even better.
Entertainment and security combo
We love bundles, and this is a great one. Control your home entertainment and home security with this Fire TV Cube and Ring Video Doorbell 2 package.
Jeramy is proud to help *Keep Austin Weird* and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he's not writing about smart home gadgets and wearables, he's defending his relationship with his smart voice assistants to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.
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